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Have Comics? Comicster!

I've highlighted a one feature of today's project before, Think NuGet is only for Visual Studio (or IDE)? Think again..., but not the entire thing. And the whole is often greater than the sum of its parts...

Comicster

Comicster is a free Windows program designed to catalog your comic books. It stores information about publishers, trade-paperbacks, titles, individual issues, characters and creators.

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An interesting and cool feature of Comicster is that it has built-in extensibility. Want to extend or add functionality? There's an API for that...

Creating a Comicster Extension

Comicster uses NuGet and MEF to allow for third-party plug-ins. In this article, we'll be describing the various extensibility points in Comicster and how you can write your own plug-ins.

You should be familiar with Microsoft .NET Framework and Microsoft Visual Studio. Comicster extensions can be written in any .NET language (C#, VB.NET, etc.). The below examples will be shown using Visual C#. Extensions can be written using the free Visual Studio Express editions. In fact, Comicster was written using the Visual Studio C# Express.

To learn how to create a Comicster Skin extension, please refer to the "How do I create a skin?" knowledge base article.

Development Overview

The below 10 step process overview provides you with a quick and simple understanding of how to code, build, test, and submit your Comicster Plug-In.

Design and Development Phase

  1. Create a new "Class Library" project in Visual Studio and add a reference to Comicster.Core.DLL
  2. Code your plug-in by implementing the provided interface(s)
  3. Build your library
  4. Package your library and any dependencies into a nupkg file

Testing Phase

  1. Copy your nupkg file into your local package directory at "My Documents\Comicster\Packages"
  2. If you haven't bumped the nupkg version, delete any previously installed versions of your plug-in from the installed extensions directory at "My Documents\Comicster\Extensions"
  3. Start Comicster
  4. Click "Tools|Extensions" menu choice and install your plug-in
  5. Thoroughly test your plug-in's functionality

Submission Phase

  1. Submit the nupkg file to Comicster.net

Yep, you cannot only extend it, but it leverages NuGet. And really leverage it, it does. It has its own "Extension Manager", powered by NuGet!

Comicster Extensions

Add functionality to Comicster with the integrated extension manager!

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Nuget Server powered too!

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Here's a snap of the Solution (yes, not only do you get a cool project, but you get all the source too. )

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If you're looking for an inexpensive way to catalog your comics, looks for examples of adding extensibility to the programs you write, looking to build in NuGet packaged support, would like to see a custom "Extension Manager" like feature or just some cool code to read, I think this project might be of interest to you...

Here’s a few more links you might find interesting:

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  • Dental Clinic MelbourneDental Clinic Melbourne

    your posting is good, nicely explain how to do it, i want to try it. thanks for sharing it.

  • Alun JonesAlun Jones

    Now what we really need is for Bing Visual Search on the Windows Phone to read comic book covers and/or bar codes to add them to your private collection of comic books, so you can know what you've got and what you're missing.

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